Things are getting nasty...
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22-04-2014, 12:22 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
(22-04-2014 11:53 AM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  
(22-04-2014 10:22 AM)Escape Artist Wrote:  From yapping my head off yesterday to [Image: smiley_mouth_taped_shut.gif] today... *sigh*

Talk to us Hug

That's just it, I don't know what I'm thinking.

I am thinking, but I don't know if it's in the right direction, or anywhere close to what it should be.

My thoughts at present are to see if he'd be agreeable to joint custody (joint legal custody I would want no matter what, but I'm speaking to joint physical custody here). It is difficult to separate my feelings toward him as a husband from an objective view of him as a father. I never felt that he was an awful father. He was more involved with his children than my dad was with me. That was a point in his favor. He was not physically abusive (unless you count spankings, which I don't), though he did yell at the kids more than I cared for. He was the enforcer and I was the one who held him back a bit, who tempered his anger. But he would do the same for me, whenever I was stepping too far into anger, like if I'd gotten angry over something that didn't really matter. We balanced each other out as parents quite well.

He was not the husband I needed, no. I didn't have enough freedom and well, let's not open that can of worms again. Y'all have heard it enough and I get tired of re-hashing it.

Point is, if worst came to worst and they ended up with him primarily, they would be raised by someone akin to my mother. And while that is not the situation I would prefer for my kids (I don't agree with my mother's style of "parenting") it is not the end of the world. My mom made sure I had food, made sure we had clothes (even if we didn't get them all that often). Her downsides were that she screamed at us, made sure we knew she never wanted children, and was extremely nosy and disrespectful of our privacy. Plus, her constant worrying had her isolating my brother and I from our peers and disapproving of the friendships I did make. My parents were strict, and I wasn't allowed to do very much at all.

It fucking sucked, but I survived it. And there are kids who have it much, much worse. Of all the things he is, my ex was not a sexual or physical abuser (though I would argue he is emotionally abusive).

But even saying all that, how could I let the kids be with someone like that when I feel I am the better choice? I tend to be more lenient and I tend to be distant and maybe not pay as much attention as I should, but I respect my kids' privacy and I encourage their independence. I am not the kind of parent who, for example, would disown their kids or be very disappointed if they didn't, say, "go into the family business" - I want my kids to do what makes them happy. And to be with who makes them happy.

If either or both of them were to come to me and say that they're gay, I will love them. If they marry or date interracially, I have no problem with it. As long as they are being treated well and are happy with their career choice, I am happy to support them. In fact, if I felt like they were doing something just because I like to do it, or just to please me, it'd make me feel awful. They shouldn't do anything to make me happy. I am responsible for my own happiness. That is not a burden they should bear.

Damn it all, I'm rambling again. Facepalm

I want to do what is best for them, but not if it means violating their free will and what they want. This puts two of my strongly-held values at odds with one another and that is what has me so stuck. Sad

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22-04-2014, 02:20 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
Did you talk to your kids?

Atir aissom atir imon
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22-04-2014, 03:39 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
(22-04-2014 02:20 PM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  Did you talk to your kids?

I didn't last night, no. I'm almost afraid to. And I was so wiped out emotionally that I just kept nodding off. I don't know why I'm so worried to talk to them about it. I did try and chat with my son a bit but he wasn't feeling too talkative, I don't guess. There was something he almost started to say to me the night before (on Sunday night, that is) but he ended up just saying "never mind", so I tried to get him to elaborate on that last night, but no dice.

I even mentioned his dad getting a townhouse and how that was pretty neat. I was trying to lead into asking if he wanted to live there with that.

Alas, I iz good at writing, but I suck at the talking. Blush

Try, try again.

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22-04-2014, 03:44 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
(22-04-2014 03:39 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  
(22-04-2014 02:20 PM)Im_Ryan Wrote:  Did you talk to your kids?

I didn't last night, no. I'm almost afraid to. And I was so wiped out emotionally that I just kept nodding off. I don't know why I'm so worried to talk to them about it. I did try and chat with my son a bit but he wasn't feeling too talkative, I don't guess. There was something he almost started to say to me the night before (on Sunday night, that is) but he ended up just saying "never mind", so I tried to get him to elaborate on that last night, but no dice.

I even mentioned his dad getting a townhouse and how that was pretty neat. I was trying to lead into asking if he wanted to live there with that.

Alas, I iz good at writing, but I suck at the talking. Blush

Try, try again.

Thats right. Try try again! With your daughter. Smile
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22-04-2014, 04:00 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
(22-04-2014 03:44 PM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  
(22-04-2014 03:39 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  I didn't last night, no. I'm almost afraid to. And I was so wiped out emotionally that I just kept nodding off. I don't know why I'm so worried to talk to them about it. I did try and chat with my son a bit but he wasn't feeling too talkative, I don't guess. There was something he almost started to say to me the night before (on Sunday night, that is) but he ended up just saying "never mind", so I tried to get him to elaborate on that last night, but no dice.

I even mentioned his dad getting a townhouse and how that was pretty neat. I was trying to lead into asking if he wanted to live there with that.

Alas, I iz good at writing, but I suck at the talking. Blush

Try, try again.

Thats right. Try try again! With your daughter. Smile

Yeah. I just... jesus. I don't want to get into an argument. I really don't. When she accused me of ruining their lives, well... what can I say to that? I did mess things up for them, and they didn't get a say in it. Not that kids would ever say, "Yeah, I think you should leave dad 'cause he's kind of a jerk," but still. I freeze up because once something like that is said, what can I do at that point? Say, "Yeah I know I screwed up your life and I'm sorry about that. Would you like to live with me? Big Grin " Eh. Sounds kind of douche-baggy, even to my own ears.

Anyway, I shall try. Just, nervous as fuck about it. I know I made the right decision in my divorce, it's not that. I just hate that it had to affect anyone but me. I knew it would, obviously I knew, but there was really no good choice. It was either stay and continue to get more and more depressed and into drinking and turn out to be a terrible parent anyway, or go ahead and sever things with the marriage and just hope that I could be a better parent down the line.

I dunno if at this point I should try for primary custody, no matter what the kids say they do or don't want, and then if she insists on going with dad, I try for joint custody, and then hopefully it wouldn't get any worse than that? Fuck.

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22-04-2014, 04:39 PM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2014 05:11 PM by Free Thought.)
RE: Things are getting nasty...
(22-04-2014 04:00 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  
(22-04-2014 03:44 PM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  Thats right. Try try again! With your daughter. Smile

Yeah. I just... jesus. I don't want to get into an argument. I really don't. When she accused me of ruining their lives, well... what can I say to that? I did mess things up for them, and they didn't get a say in it. Not that kids would ever say, "Yeah, I think you should leave dad 'cause he's kind of a jerk," but still. I freeze up because once something like that is said, what can I do at that point? Say, "Yeah I know I screwed up your life and I'm sorry about that. Would you like to live with me? Big Grin " Eh. Sounds kind of douche-baggy, even to my own ears.

Anyway, I shall try. Just, nervous as fuck about it. I know I made the right decision in my divorce, it's not that. I just hate that it had to affect anyone but me. I knew it would, obviously I knew, but there was really no good choice. It was either stay and continue to get more and more depressed and into drinking and turn out to be a terrible parent anyway, or go ahead and sever things with the marriage and just hope that I could be a better parent down the line.

I dunno if at this point I should try for primary custody, no matter what the kids say they do or don't want, and then if she insists on going with dad, I try for joint custody, and then hopefully it wouldn't get any worse than that? Fuck.

I can somewhat sympathise with your daughter. During my parents separation, I spent much of my time confused, and angry. I hated my mother for it what was happening, what she did to my father and our family. Of course, I hated myself too at that time; felt weak and not in control, but that's another story, for another never. Not that I let anybody see of course. I have the rather destructive habit of holding my emotions in.
However, there was one time where I just exploded and broke down and subsequently got into an argument with my mum, I don't exactly remember the exchange but it went like this:

Me: "Why? Why'd you have to ruin it!"
Mum: "Is it so wrong that I wanted to be happy!?"

That answer... It was like a smack to the face. I was never told of anything past that, outside of what I believed to just be rationalisations. That kind of answer just made me angrier; it explained nothing and felt like a cop-out.

If you get a question like what your daughter (or past-I) asked again, just remember to explain yourself thoroughly; list everything and if possible try to stay cool about it. Chances are, she wants to understand but doesn't and, whether she or anybody else likes it or not, it must be explained to the fullest extent, and again and again until both she, and her brother, understand in full.

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22-04-2014, 09:52 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
(22-04-2014 04:00 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  
(22-04-2014 03:44 PM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  Thats right. Try try again! With your daughter. Smile

Yeah. I just... jesus. I don't want to get into an argument. I really don't. When she accused me of ruining their lives, well... what can I say to that? I did mess things up for them, and they didn't get a say in it. Not that kids would ever say, "Yeah, I think you should leave dad 'cause he's kind of a jerk," but still. I freeze up because once something like that is said, what can I do at that point? Say, "Yeah I know I screwed up your life and I'm sorry about that. Would you like to live with me? Big Grin " Eh. Sounds kind of douche-baggy, even to my own ears.

Anyway, I shall try. Just, nervous as fuck about it. I know I made the right decision in my divorce, it's not that. I just hate that it had to affect anyone but me. I knew it would, obviously I knew, but there was really no good choice. It was either stay and continue to get more and more depressed and into drinking and turn out to be a terrible parent anyway, or go ahead and sever things with the marriage and just hope that I could be a better parent down the line.

I dunno if at this point I should try for primary custody, no matter what the kids say they do or don't want, and then if she insists on going with dad, I try for joint custody, and then hopefully it wouldn't get any worse than that? Fuck.

Let's play a little game.

Everyone writes out what they want to say to each other in a letter. There is no judgement, no getting in trouble, just a pure expression of feelings. Everyone gets to write two letters, for each other person (if they so choose). Then you guys can either read and respond in private or through open dialogue. Whichever suites your fancy.

Keep it respectful. Play nice.

Atir aissom atir imon
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22-04-2014, 10:29 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
I haven't read past page 2 yet, but I wanted to give my opinion, as a child of divorced parents.

They divorced when I was 18, my sister was 14, my brother was 12. It was a very similar situation to what you have going on. We kids all felt like mom was abandoning us. We wouldn't understand until later how she was, in reality, escaping a toxic relationship. She told us little by little more of the truth about what drove her away, as we got old enough to handle it and as we came visiting her saying whatever bad things we thought we knew about her.

In the beginning, we all wanted to live with dad because we thought he was the one who wanted to keep our family together. We all felt heartbroken. Like mom had just decided to walk away. And not knowing the years of mental abuse she endured, that's exactly what it looked like to us. We needed time to grieve. A few months later, my brother decided to move in with mom; he and my dad have always had conflicting tempers, so it was no surprise. Luckily, mom had moved into an apartment just 10 minutes away.

Not long after that, my dad had his new girlfriend move in, which just made me feel really uncomfortable. Needless to say, drama ensued and I ended up moving in with mom. My sister stayed with him for the longest time, I think because she was able to close herself off mentally from his anger and his new family.. Also because she felt bad for him since my brother and I had up and left him just like our mother.

Throughout this whole time, my mom was patient with us and showed her love for us whenever she could. If she and dad had it out in court over custody, none of us kids were aware of it. Mom always sheltered us from their fighting and I think that was for the best. She always let us decide whose house we wanted to be at, and eventually we all figured out what an asswipe dad is through our own interactions with him.

Your daughter might think she wants to be with her dad right now, but soon she will see his true colors. Just always be there for her, especially when she needs an escape at midnight after an argument! I think my mom's strategy worked out well for us, even though I know now how heartbreaking it was for her.

As another anecdote though, I have to confess that my brother (17 now) is in therapy currently, recovering from his six month stint at dad's house. He held on to his dad-as-hero belief for a while and decided last year that he wanted to live with him and his new new family... Well it lasted six months and his grades plummeted and there were a bunch of issues, but the main point is, he figured out what kind of person dad is on his own. A couple months of therapy is the side-effect, but at least none of us have any resentment toward mom because she always let us choose where to live.



tl;dr- I think you should let your kids choose where they want to live. They'll figure out how their dad is manipulative on their own. You just always be there to love them and set them straight when they parrot lies about you or your past.

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28-04-2014, 09:24 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
Thought I'd update and let y'all know that I've calmed down a good bit since I was all over the place on here with my emotions. Blush Anyway, it happens. I think I just felt like I'd been hit with a curveball, actually hearing my child say she'd rather be with her dad. It made me go back and reevaluate things to try and see whether I was still on the right track and still had the right motives, etc.

Revs talked with me at length about the situation as well, and that helped a whole lot. He has a way of cutting through all the emotions and just getting down to the facts of the situation.

I think everything will be okay. It's not like I'm going for sole custody of my kids. I want their father to have his time with them as well. But they are best off with me. I truly believe that. And that is what I am going to keep my fingers crossed for, is for me to get primary custody of them.

I may not be their favorite person right now, but their father is not the healthiest person to be around, either. And I may not be perfect, but I love my kids and I want what is best for them.

I just need to give myself permission to believe that, flawed as I am, I can be the best for them, at least in comparison to the alternative (their being with their father).

Eh, I iz rambling Hobo - point is, between y'all being so supportive and kind and letting me go "full hobos" as it were, and Revs cutting through my emotional fog, I'm feeling back on track with everything. Just gotta keep truckin' Tongue

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28-04-2014, 09:29 PM
RE: Things are getting nasty...
Good to hear!

Sometimes you have to take a step back and get some perspective. Not much in this life is as emotionally charged as trying to do the best for your kids.

It'll work out...rant when you need to.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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